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Slovenia/ 5.2 Legislation on culture  

As the political system was transformed at the beginning of the 1990s, legislation on culture also had to be changed in its entirety. The new Constitution of Slovenia in 1991 established traditional rights with regard to culture including freedom of artistic creation, cultural development and heritage protection as well as providing copyright, cultural and linguistic rights for Italian and Hungarian minorities, rights for the Roma community and assistance for Slovenes living in either neighbouring countries or around the world.

In December 1996, the public's interest in culture was regulated for the first time. In November 2002, the Act was revised in its entirety in order to create proper means for its implementation and to reconsider the model. Thus, the Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture (2002) is now an umbrella law and currently consists of:

  • setting rules for cultural policy decision-making (openness, participation, responsibility, efficiency, coherence);
  • enacting five main cultural policy objectives (see chapter 2.3);
  • defining the main actors (in addition to the public authorities, the National Council for Culture and the Cultural Chamber of Slovenia);
  • establishing some special mechanisms for cultural policy formulation (National Programme for Culture and regular annual report to the Parliament on its implementation, public tenders and calls for proposals for public funding, which set the aims, criteria and conditions for the allocation of public funds, mandatory agreements between the state and municipalities which define common cultural policy objectives);
  • launching the system of public cultural services (special chapter concerning the establishment, administration, operation and financing of public cultural institutions);
  • financing cultural activities (institutional funding for public institutions and projects and programme funding for NGOs); and
  • defining the rights of artists regarding social security and pensions.

There are also other general acts affecting culture, i.e. the Public Finance Act, the Local Government Act, the Civil Servants Act, the Salary System in the Public Sector Act, the General Administrative Procedure Act (see also chapter 5.1.1).



General cultural legislation

Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture - Original 1996, revised in 2002 (Official gazette No. 96/02, 123/06 - ZFO-1, 7/07 - odl. US, 53/07, 65/07 - odl. US, 77/07 - UPB1, 56/08, 4/10, 20/11, 111/13)

General cultural Act defining public interest for culture, the responsible bodies and scope of their tasks, the documents of its articulation and the mechanisms for its implementation.

Prešeren Award Act (Official gazette No. 29/1991)

Regulates The Prešeren Award (Prešernova nagrada), as the national awards in the field of arts conferred annually (two major awards for lifework and six awards for artistic achievements in the last two years) by a Board representing various artistic disciplines whose members are nominated by the government and elected in Parliament.

Sector specific legislation- Media

Slovenian Film Centre, public agency of the Republic of Slovenia Act (Official gazette No.77/10, 40/12 – ZUJF and 19/14 - odl. US)

Defines support to national audio-visual production: the purpose, functions, organisation, governing and funding of the Slovenian Film Centre and its relation to the government.

Media Act (Official gazette No.35/01, 62/03 - ORZMed84, 113/03 - odl. US, 16/04 - odl. US, 123/04 - odl. US, 96/05 - ZRTVS-1, 60/06, 69/06 - ZOIPub, 110/06 - UPB1, 36/08 - ZPOmK-1, 77/10 - ZSFCJA, 90/10 - odl. US, 87/11 - ZAvMS and 47/12 )

Defines the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the legal and physical entities operating in the field of media and regulates public interest in the media in the Republic of Slovenia.

Audio-visual Media Services Act (Official gazette No. 87/2011)

Defines rights, obligations and responsibilities of legal entities and individuals who operate in the field of audio-visual media services to harmonise domestic legislation with Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services.

Radiotelevizija Slovenia Act (Official gazette No.96/05, 109/05 - ZDavP-1B, 105/06 - odl. US, 26/09 - ZIPRS0809-B, and 9/14)

Defines the role of public service radio and television establishment and its governance structure including the mode of its parliamentary control.

Slovenian Press Agency Law, (Official gazette No. 50/2011)

Legal basis for the operation of Slovenian Press Agency as a public service to provide permanent, comprehensive, accurate and objective information on the events in the Republic of Slovenia and around the world.

Sector specific legislation- Cultural heritage

Cultural Heritage Protection Act (Official gazette No.16/08, 123/08, 8/11 - ORZVKD39, 90/12 and 111/13)

Defines the system for holistic protection of cultural heritage, specifies the division of responsibilities between different preservation bodies and the scope of their tasks and stipulates the obligation of the owners.

Return of Unlawfully Removed Cultural Heritage Objects Act (Official gazette No.126/2003)

Provides the legal basis for activities aimed at the return of unlawfully removed cultural heritage objects within EU member states.

Protection of Documents and Archives and Archival Institutions Act (Official gazette No.30/06 and 51/14)

Defines the rules on protection of archival material and specifies the division of labour between different preservation and archiving organisations and the scope of their activities.

Sector specific legislation- Librarianship

Libraries Act (Official gazette No. 87/01 and 96/02 – ZUJIK)

Defines public service in the field of librarianship including the operation, founding, financing and supervision of publicly funded libraries, establishment of the national cooperative online bibliographic system and tasks of the National Council for Librarianship.

Legal Deposit Act (Official gazette No.69/06 and 86/09)

Defines purpose and scope of the legal requirement to submit copies of the publications to the repository libraries, their tasks and funding, and inspection to ensure compliance requirements.

Sector specific legislation- Books

Act establishing the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Books (Official gazette No.112/07, and 63/13)

Defines founding, operation, organisation, funding and supervision of agency aimed at supporting and promoting books and its tasks.

Single Price for Books Act (Official gazette No.11/2014)

Defines the fixed price of books in first six months after publication.

Sector specific legislation- Slovene Language

Public Use of the Slovene Language Act (Official gazette No.86/04 and 8/10)

Defines the Slovene language as the official language in the Republic of Slovenia except when in accordance with the Constitution; also, Hungarian and Italian languages have the same recognition and when the official usage of foreign languages is envisaged due to international pacts.

Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities Act (Official gazette No.29/2010)

Defines the purpose, activities and organisation, governing and funding of the main expert and policy implementing entity of amateur culture and its relation to the government.

Sector specific legislation- Minorities

Self-Governing Ethnic Communities Act (Official gazette No. 65/94)

Specifies rights given to traditional minorities (Hungarian and Italian) given by the Constitution including the establishment of their self-management communities.

The Roma Community Act (Official gazette No.33/07)

Specifies rights given to Roma people by the Constitution including their participation in public affairs.

Disabled People's Organisations Act (Official gazette 108/02 and 61/06 - ZDru-1)

Defines status, operation, funding and real estate of the organisations of disabled people.

Act on the Use of Slovene Sign Language (Official gazette No.96/02)

Stipulates that deaf people have the right to use sign language and the right to be informed in specially adapted techniques. The Act also defines how and to what extent the right to a sign language interpreter can be used. 

Draft bills

the Law on Slovenian Audio-visual Centre

Trying to regulate the field of film and to provide better incentives to invest in the Slovenian film industry including a special levy on cable operators which provoked huge resistance and consequently stopped the process.



ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

CERD, Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child

CEDAW, Convention Eliminating All kinds of Discrimination Against Women

European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

European Charter for the Protection of Regional or Minority Languages

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

European Social Charter

Protocol No 3 on the Act of Accession to the European Union

UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Slovenia co-operates on a national basis and as a Member State of the European Union with the following international organisations on minority issues: the United Nations, Council of Europe, OSCE, ILO, UNESCO.


Chapter published: 11-02-2015

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